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How long does your bedtime routine take - from dinner to bed?

(35 Posts)
lill72 Wed 06-Aug-14 12:47:17

I have an 3.5 year old and a mate the other night said the bedtime routine should be fast - ie half an hour. I don't know how I can possibly do it that quickly, so was wondering how long it takes others?

MegMogandOwlToo Wed 06-Aug-14 13:02:25

It takes us an hour. We eat at 7pm, finished by 7:30 -

7:30 we do bath, pjs on, milk, brush teeth, clean nappy on and in bed by 8:30.

MegMogandOwlToo Wed 06-Aug-14 13:03:17

Also I think it should be slow, as being fast and rushing isn't conducive to a calm, quiet bedtime!

Petallic Wed 06-Aug-14 13:07:10

5pm dinner, bath starts anywhere between 5.30 and 6pm. Bed at 7pm with a story in bed for the eldest and then lights out. Pretty regimented but I've a 2&3 year old and I do most bedtimes on my own as DP works shifts. Works pretty well here. I only class the last 20mins as a proper bedtime routine though - same cbeebies prog and then read DS1 a story in bed. Come downstairs and DD1 gets her last milk before straight up to bed too.

lill72 Wed 06-Aug-14 13:08:58

I agree it should not be rushed, but mine seems to take 2 hours - there seems to be dawdling with dinner, then much negotiation with teeth, bath, bed. Exhausting! I think my mate was just meaning that you shouldn't let things go on and on. An hour seems more reasonable!

FreeButtonBee Wed 06-Aug-14 13:09:29

Bedtime routine doesn't include dinner in my house. 18mo twins. Dinner is between 5 and 5.30 (for them - we eat later). Then more play, milk at 6.30ish, bath at 7ish and into bed by 7.30. Having two does slow the process down quite a bit! I imagine you could get one into bed faster. But aim is for in cots by 7.30 so I work back from that and try to give enough time for distractions and messing about and stories etc.

JuniperTisane Wed 06-Aug-14 13:13:41

Dinner is 5pm and nothing to do with bedtime at all. Bedtime starts at about 6.45pm. Both boys in bed by about 7.30 - 7.45pm.

When the boys are old enough they will probably start having dinner with us at around 7pm followed by bed at 8-8.30. That won't happen til ds1 starts school I think.

Paddingtonthebear Wed 06-Aug-14 13:18:27

22 month old, eats dinner around 5pm. Done in about 15 mins. Every other evening she has a bath, at the moment she hates them so this is very short but previously would be 20-30 mins of bath time. Plays/potters about/watches TV or sometimes we take her across the park for a quick walk. Milk around 6.20-6.30pm, TV and stories then nappy change and put her in her gro bag around 6.50pm/7pm, take her upstairs and put her into her cot, leave room, she falls asleep quickly.

LittlePink Wed 06-Aug-14 13:42:51

I have a 2 yr old and she has dinner at 5pm, play until 6, then milk whilst we have cuddles on sofa watching tv, then bath 6.15, stories 6.30-7 on our bed, bed at 7pm, cuddles and kisses and a little sing song in her bed, she chooses which teddy shes going to cuddle that night, say goodnight to all her special teddies one by one, and shes done by 7.10/7.15 and not a peep until 6.30am ish.

Boysclothes Wed 06-Aug-14 13:48:04

2.5 yr old here and bedtime varies wildly depending on which parent is doing it!
Me: dinner 5.30 then milk. Upstairs 18.45, bath, pjs then two books followed by bedtime story. Lights off 730.
If DH is home in time it's upstairs around 7pm and often he doesn't come back down til 830! There's stories, play fights, songs, toys, g-d knows what and find it a bit annoying! Although he doesn't see DS all day I suppose. I usually finish off making our dinner and join them for last story. I have encouraged him to make it a bit shorter which works for a few nights then it's back to a marathon.
DS does go down fine though and sleeps for 11 hours.

neversleepagain Wed 06-Aug-14 13:58:25

Dinner for them at 5pm.

They have milk at 6pm, bath, teeth, stories then bed at7pm.

22 month twins.

Yama Wed 06-Aug-14 14:03:06

Dinner is not part of bedtime routine.

Dinner sometime between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

Bedtime is between 7.30 and 8pm. Now that the youngest is a bit older (almost 4) they don't have a bath every night.

I don't know why I'm answering as dh put them to bed most nights. He's usually upstairs for about 40 minutes. A story/chapter each, a song and then lights out.

RoganJosh Wed 06-Aug-14 14:08:01

Dinner is at 5-5.30. Start putting pjs on about 6.30, (ask if anyone is hungry, dish out milk/banana/toast) stories 6.45, brush teeth at some point, into bed at about 7.15pm.

No bath, as we swim a lot and have eczema so it's a twice week pre dinner thing.

I like to spend the time reading books and not rushing.

magichandles Wed 06-Aug-14 14:09:56

Dinner 5-5:30 here as well. They then tidy up and watch tv until bath around 6:15/ 6:30. Then milk, story and bed by 7. Mine are 4.5 and 2.5.

Thurlow Wed 06-Aug-14 14:13:51

I see dinner generally as separate from bedtime, as it is normally between 5-6, so there is still 6-7 that's not really part of the bedtime routine. Sometimes 2.5yo plays, sometimes she watches a film (depending on how knackering the day has been), sometimes she helps with the washing up.

Bedtime is 45 mins from start to finish - longish bath at 7, milk, 5 mins of telly to wind down, teeth, then upstairs about 7.30 for a story, generally she is then in bed by 7.45.

hollie84 Wed 06-Aug-14 14:14:58

Dinner 6pm for all 4 of us (ds1 4, ds2 5 months, me and dp)
Bath around 6.30pm for both boys
Teeth brushed, dried and dressed
7pm upstairs for dp to read ds1 a story while I breastfeed ds2
in bed by about 7.15 and both asleep by 7.30

So bath to in bed is usually 45 minutes but I can compress it to 30 if I've had enough.

melissa83 Wed 06-Aug-14 14:16:55

Less than half an hour. Wash, book, teeth, toilet, bed.

MrsWinnibago Wed 06-Aug-14 14:34:47

Agree that dinner has nothing to do with bedtime. After dinner, they should have some time to chill out or play...then half an hour is plenty to prep for bed. I hate all the faffing about...I've got older DC now though so I might be forgetting the bother of small DC and how complicated they can be!

My youngest is 6...I warn them and then they have a wash...we don't do baths nightly. Then they do teeth...story, bed, read by themselves for a bit and then lights off!

KateMoose Wed 06-Aug-14 17:00:16

Well, it used to be bath at 6, teeth, nightie, bed, 2-5 books, singing (3 songs) sleep.

Recently, bath 6ish, lots of persuasion and threats to have bath ar at least a wash, teeth, negotiating about wanting to go downstairs for a little play, nightie on, bed, stories (for which she is showing a preference for dead long ones like The Enormous Crocodile and the longer Beatrix Potter stories), a drink, a snack is she's really persuasive, teeth again, up and down the stairs like a jack in the box, requests to tie hair up, again and again and again. Pleas about lack of tiredness, creeping downstairs, back up stairs ad infinitum. Last night she slept at 2130. She's 4 in October.

Last week I cracked it with a naughty girl jar and said that her princess toy would go in the naughty girl jar if she didn't get into bed. It worked a treat. But then, a couple of days later when I had to follow the threat through, she was not bothered. The princess toy stayed in the jar for 2 nights.

If anyone has any good ideas for shortening the bedtime routine of my little angel also, I would be grateful!

Shroomboom Wed 06-Aug-14 17:15:19

Ours takes 45 mins to an hour. Bath at 7pm, then a feed and bed for dd (6months) and then on to a story and bed for ds (7). Sometimes I do a story for both together but that takes a bit longer. We don't rush, but I like to get them down so we can have a bit of an evening ourselves.

Kate ds tries similar things - with the lack of tiredness he gets his knickers in a twist, but what seems to have worked recently is to tell him that he doesn't need to worry if he can't fall asleep, but that he should just relax, rest, and close his eyes. It's worked every time, and seems to stop him panicking. Also, I do sometimes limit stories - if it's a long one we'll agree beforehand how many pages we're going to have. He has enjoyed designing bookmarks to use for this grin It also means he looks forward to it even more the next day.
Also, have you tried doing the singing in the bath? We do that, and have lots of fun splashing around, and then when the dc's come out we tend to be more quiet in an attempt to calm them down before bed. Not sure if this works, but might be worth a try!

slightlyconfused85 Thu 07-Aug-14 07:17:51

I have a 21 month old. Dinner is seperate, she eats early between.4.30 and 5. Her dad gets home at 6 normally so he does a bath at 6.15, milk amd stories at 6.30 with a bit of in the night garden, teeth and bed at 6.50 to 7. She sleeps until about 6.30am sometimes a bit earlier sometimes a bit later!

Lally112 Thu 07-Aug-14 07:32:48

Dinner at 5 or half 5ish, Kids go back out to play till about half 6ish, bed at 7 with storytime sleeping by half 7ish.

Artandco Thu 07-Aug-14 07:46:51

Dinner 7.30-8pm. Nothing to do with bed here

8.30pm quick bath if having, pjs, read, bed 9/9.15pm ( depending on bath or not)

Between dinner they play with toys whilst we clear up. At weekends we might eat earlier so longer gap in between

So 30-45mins on average for 3 and 4 year olds

KateMoose Thu 07-Aug-14 09:49:55

Thank you for the ideas Shroomboom- especially relax, rest and close your eyes. Last night was more successful as I said that if she laid down straight after her story and went to sleep she could go to a big playpark nearby after nursery. Her eyes lit up and afterwards, she laid down and deliberately squeezed her eyes shut and she was asleep by 1950!!

lill72 Thu 07-Aug-14 17:13:38

Thanks everyone for your routines - very interesting that many do not consider dinner part of the routine. perhaps I never got the memo on this!! I had not really considered a break between dinner and starting the bedtime routine, but we tried it last night and it seem to calm DD down a bit and she almost fell asleep on the couch .

It seems like 45 mins is a good time. I am going to take on board some of your suggestions and see what happens - thank you!

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